• Group
  • Diversity and inclusion

4th Disability Agreement: BNP Paribas reaffirms its commitment

Clarisse Breynaert-Mauvage
Clarisse Breynaert-Mauvage
Mission Handicap BNP Paribas SA

At the beginning of the year, BNP Paribas signed its fourth agreement to renew its commitment towards the professional integration of people with disabilities. Since its first agreement signed in 2008, Mission Handicap continued to develop and acquire new expertise. Clarisse Breynaert-Mauvage, Head of BNP Paribas S.A. Disability Team, outlines a commitment of key importance to the company.

Can you describe Mission Handicap in a few words?

Created in 2006, Mission Handicap reports to the Human Resources Department. It leads the disability policy and ensures the proper application of the Disability Agreement signed with the representative trade union organizations in 2019 for a period of three years (2020-2022). This agreement applys French law dated 2005, which defines the principle of a compensation right for disability and a solidarity obligation from society by requiring companies to employ at least 6% of disabled people in their total workforce.

BNP Paribas' Mission Handicap is a team of seven permanent employees and 23 Disability Correspondents throughout France. We work on a daily basis with all the members of the multidisciplinary team: physicians from the Occupational Health Service, social workers from Action Sociale France, managers and Human Resources.

What are the main objectives of this fourth disability agreement?

This fourth edition is enriched with the new legislative developments. We have strengthened certain provisions and set new objectives, and reaffirmed the four main areas of focus: hiring, with an objective of hiring 165 disabled employees, including 15% on permanent term contracts, over the three-year period of the agreement; professional integration and job retention; training and raising awareness among employees; and calling upon service providers from the Protected and Adapted Work Sector, with the aim of achieving a turnover  of 1.8 million euros (before tax) by the end of the agreement.

How do you recruit people with disabilities?

 Within Mission Handicap, two employees are responsible for hiring people with disabilities. Our recruitment process follows the traditional recruitment process to assess a candidate’s profile and skillsets but has been adapted to people with disabilities. Above all, the skills and profile of the candidate prevail. Active sourcing was implemented through partnerships with specialised recruitment agencies and forums, schools and universities, etc., in order to identify the best profiles. It is important to indicate that all positions are open to everyone, including candidates with disabilities.

80% of disabilities are not visible

Integrating disability is a commitment that seems to be deeply anchored in the Group's convictions...

Deeply involved in the fight against discrimination and the promotion of diversity, BNP's employee mutual insurance company founded the Fondation des Cents Arpents in 1981. The aim was to enable disabled children of the bank's employees to find employment. In 1992, it became a non-profit association under the 1901 French law, known as the'Institut des Cents Arpents'. Today, the institute assists a hundred or so people with disabilities in all aspects of their lives.

Since the creation of Mission Handicap and the implementation of a structured action plan, the employment rate of people with disabilities has increased within BNP Paribas. In 2008, the rate represented 2.6% of the total workforce, climbing to 4.64% at the end of 2019 (1,622 listed people).

How do you promote these jobs on a daily basis?

We organize awareness initiatives throughout the year, with a particular focus in November, called the Disability Employment Month at BNP Paribas. Our aim is to raise awareness around the various types of disability, their specific characteristics and the tools available to help employees who need them to work optimally. For instance, Mission Handicap can finance the installation of text-to-speech software for the visually impaired.

Let's not forget that many people with disabilities remain hesitant to share the information of their disability over fear of the prejudices that are still present among some employees. Moreover, 80% of disabilities are not visible. Our mission is also about encouraging freedom of speech internally and fighting against preconceived ideas.

In this spirit of sharing and mutual aid, Mission Handicap supported a group of employees in creating a professional network of BNP Paribas employees who are connected in one way or another by disabilities, as well as disabling or chronic illnesses: 'Ability, the network of the extraordinary!'

What would your motto be?

Disability represents Diversity – it is not a question of preferential treatment, but of giving employees with disabilities their chance, while respecting the principle of equity. Skills are all that count!

Focus on the identity of Mission Handicap

Over the years, Mission Handicap has built up its expertise by creating a network of professionals, which has enabled it to support employees with disabilities. This commitment reflects a policy of preventing discrimination and promoting diversity, particularly in favor of employment of people with disabilities, whose unemployment rate is twice as high as the rest of the population.

Mission Handicap coordinates all actions regarding the subject of Disability, and ensures the implementation of each of the agreements consecutively signed around four main components:

  • hiring,
  • retaining and professional integration of employees with disabilities,
  • training and raising awareness among employees,
  • calling upon service providers from the Protected and Adapted Sector

In addition to recruiting and retaining people with disabilities, Mission Handicap plays another essential role: breaking down taboos and prejudices. Throughout the year, BNP Paribas employees attend workshops, awareness events and conferences aimed at changing attitudes and promoting the inclusion of people with disabilities in the workplace. Mission Handicap has been successfully fighting for this topic for more than 10 years.

Photo : header ©Robert Kneschke

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